King

First Name
24k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
465k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
First
Last
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name King mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of King

"King" is a name of American origin, and it means "Ruler". It's a name commonly given to boys.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun King
A Chinese musical instrument, consisting of resonant stones or metal plates, arranged according to their tones in a frame of wood, and struck with a hammer.
noun King
Senses
  1. A chief ruler; a sovereign; one invested with supreme authority over a nation, country, or tribe, usually by hereditary succession; a monarch; a prince."Ay, every inch a king." [Shak.]" Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle." [Burke.]"There was a State without king or nobles." [R. Choate.]"But yonder comes the powerful King of Day, Rejoicing in the east" [Thomson.]
  2. One who, or that which, holds a supreme position or rank; a chief among competitors; as, a railroad king; a money king; the king of the lobby; the king of beasts.
  3. A playing card having the picture of a king{1; as, the king of diamonds.
  4. The chief piece in the game of chess.
  5. A crowned man in the game of draughts.
  6. pl.The title of two historical books in the Old Testament.

Note: King is often used adjectively, or in combination, to denote preëminence or superiority in some particular; as, kingbird; king crow; king vulture.

Etymology: AS. cyng cyning; akin to OS. kuning, D. koning, OHG. kuning, G. könig, Icel. konungr, Sw. konung, Dan. konge; formed with a patronymic ending, and fr. the root of E. kin; cf. Icel. konr a man of noble birth. √44. See Kin

verb King
To supply with a king; to make a king of; to raise to royalty.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. (chess) the weakest but the most important piece
  2. One of the four playing cards in a deck bearing the picture of a king
  3. A checker that has been moved to the opponent's first row where it is promoted to a piece that is free to move either forward or backward
  4. A very wealthy or powerful businessman
  5. A male sovereign; ruler of a kingdom
  6. A competitor who holds a preeminent position
  7. United States charismatic civil rights leader and Baptist minister who campaigned against the segregation of Blacks (1929-1968)
  8. United States guitar player and singer of the blues (born in 1925)
  9. United States woman tennis player (born in 1943)
  10. Preeminence in a particular category or group or field ("the lion is the king of beasts")
Wiktionary
  1. The title of a king.
  2. An English and Scottish surname​, originally a nickname for someone who either acted as if he were a king or had worked in the king's household.
  3. (Britain, rail transport) King class, a class of steam locomotives used on the GWR.

Notable Persons Named King

King Kong is a fictional character.

Popularity:

King Krule is an indie rock, punk jazz, jazz fusion, post-punk, hip hop music, and dark wave musician. He plays Guitar, Keyboard instrument, and Vocals. His most notable accomplishments were from 2010 to present. King was given the name Archy Ivan Marshall on August 24th, 1994. King is also known as Zoo Kid, DJ JD Sports, Edgar The Beatmaker, Lankslacks, and Archy Marshall.

Popularity:

King Diamond is a heavy metal music musician. He plays Vocals, keyboards, guitar, and Keyboard instrument. His ongoing career started in 1974. King was given the name Kim Bendix Petersen on June 14th, 1956 in Copenhagen, Denmark. King is also known as King Diamond and Masthema Mazziqim.

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King Bach is an actor, film director, comedian, and director. King was given the name Andrew B. Bachelor in Toronto. King is also known as King Bach.

Popularity:

King Ghidorah is a fictional character. King is also known as Ghidrah, Ghidora, Monster Zero, Thousand Year-Old Dragon, Grand King Ghidorah, and King of Terror.

Popularity:

King Shark is a comics character.

Popularity:

Notable Persons With the Last Name King

Stephen King is a horror, fantasy, science fiction, supernatural fiction, drama, suspense, thriller, gothic fiction, genre fiction, dark fantasy, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic fiction, and crime fiction screenwriter, columnist, actor, television producer, film director, singer, musician, novelist, and short story. He was most active from 1967 to present. Stephen was given the name Stephen Edwin King on September 21st, 1947 in Portland, Maine, United States.

Popularity:

Rodney was given the name Rodney Glen King III on April 2nd, 1965 in Sacramento, California, U.S. He left this life on June 17th, 2012.

Popularity:

Jr. Martin Luther King was a clergyman and activist. They hold the title I Have a Dream and I've Been to the Mountaintop. Jr. was given the name Michael King, Jr. by their parents Martin Luther King, Sr., and Alberta Williams King on January 15th, 1929. They passed away on April 4th, 1968.

Popularity:

Carole King is a pop music, soft rock, folk rock, and blue-eyed soul singer-songwriter. She was most active from 1958 to present. Carole was given the name Carol Joan Klein on February 9th, 1942 in Manhattan, New York City, U.S.

Popularity:

Elle King is a country, soul, rock, and blues musician. She plays Vocals, guitar, and banjo. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1998 to present. Elle was given the name Tanner Elle Schneider on July 3rd, 1989 in Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Popularity:

B.B. King was a blues, rhythm, and blues rock musician. He plays Gibson ES-335. He was most prominent from 1948 to 2015. B.B. was given the name Riley B. King on September 16th, 1925 in Berclair, Mississippi, U.S. He died on May 14th, 2015.

Popularity:

How popular is the baby name King in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1880 27 0 27
1881 20 0 20
1882 26 0 26
1883 22 0 22
1884 25 0 25
1885 25 0 25
1886 23 0 23
1887 13 0 13
1888 27 0 27
1889 21 0 21
1890 21 0 21
1891 13 0 13
1892 26 0 26
1893 23 0 23
1894 20 0 20
1895 24 0 24
1896 24 0 24
1897 32 0 32
1898 27 0 27
1899 23 0 23
1900 33 0 33
1901 15 0 15
1902 29 0 29
1903 19 0 19
1904 24 0 24
1905 24 0 24
1906 28 0 28
1907 37 0 37
1908 37 0 37
1909 31 0 31
1910 47 0 47
1911 32 0 32
1912 72 0 72
1913 58 0 58
1914 74 0 74
1915 111 0 111
1916 102 0 102
1917 90 0 90
1918 89 0 89
1919 120 0 120
1920 108 0 108
1921 99 0 99
1922 114 0 114
1923 100 0 100
1924 109 0 109
1925 95 0 95
1926 113 0 113
1927 85 0 85
1928 81 0 81
1929 99 5 94
1930 91 0 91
1931 72 0 72
1932 67 0 67
1933 79 0 79
1934 91 0 91
1935 67 0 67
1936 71 0 71
1937 85 0 85
1938 91 0 91
1939 87 0 87
1940 75 0 75
1941 70 0 70
1942 105 0 105
1943 86 0 86
1944 82 0 82
1945 80 0 80
1946 78 0 78
1947 79 0 79
1948 84 0 84
1949 79 0 79
1950 90 0 90
1951 81 0 81
1952 93 0 93
1953 63 0 63
1954 77 0 77
1955 68 0 68
1956 59 0 59
1957 64 0 64
1958 53 0 53
1959 60 0 60
1960 52 0 52
1961 35 0 35
1962 59 0 59
1963 42 0 42
1964 82 5 77
1965 45 0 45
1966 37 0 37
1967 37 0 37
1968 42 0 42
1969 27 0 27
1970 31 0 31
1971 34 0 34
1972 41 0 41
1973 24 0 24
1974 25 0 25
1975 30 0 30
1976 26 0 26
1977 28 0 28
1978 36 0 36
1979 41 0 41
1980 28 0 28
1981 40 0 40
1982 53 0 53
1983 32 0 32
1984 31 0 31
1985 41 0 41
1986 31 0 31
1987 20 0 20
1988 30 0 30
1989 28 0 28
1990 47 0 47
1991 39 0 39
1992 40 0 40
1993 42 0 42
1994 50 0 50
1995 40 0 40
1996 38 0 38
1997 45 0 45
1998 52 0 52
1999 46 0 46
2000 74 0 74
2001 63 0 63
2002 57 0 57
2003 70 0 70
2004 77 0 77
2005 148 0 148
2006 218 0 218
2007 321 0 321
2008 329 0 329
2009 591 0 591
2010 704 0 704
2011 727 0 727
2012 1,430 0 1,430
2013 2,104 0 2,104
2014 2,433 0 2,433
2015 2,557 0 2,557
2016 2,657 5 2,652
2017 2,669 8 2,661

Where is the name King popular?

View popular names by state or region.

Popularity of King as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name King as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Nevada, South Carolina, or Georgia.

Popularity of King as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name King as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Tennessee, Alabama, or Georgia.

Common last names for King

  • Williams
  • Smith
  • Jones
  • Brown
  • Johnson
  • Wong
  • Lee
  • Davis
  • Thomas
  • Harris
  • Jackson
  • Chan
  • Yee
  • Robinson
  • Thompson
  • White

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity King U.S.
  White 70.16% 64.26%
  African American 22.76% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 1.23% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.98% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.31% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.55% 16.26%

Of Last Name King

People with the last name King are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name King

  • What name lists does King rank for?
  • How Popular is the name King? King is the 1,559th most popular name of all time. As a last name King was the 34th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name King have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 23,640 babies born with the first name King in the United States. That's more than enough people named King to occupy the territory of Caribbean Netherlands (the Netherlands) with an estimated population of 21,133 (as of January 1, 2011).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named King? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 27 new born babies.
  • When was King first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name King is Wednesday, May 15th, 1867.
  • What year had the most people named King born? The highest recorded use of the first name King was in 2017 with a total of 2,661 babies. That's a lot of babies named King!
  • Random King Factoid: According to the 2017 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name King ranks 81st in popularity as a baby boy's name in Nevada. Imagine that, 46 babies in Nevada have the same name as you in 2017.
  • Weird things about the name King: Your name in reverse order is Gnik. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Nkig. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name King? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 465,422 people with the last name King.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of King? King was ranked as the 34th most popular last name but is still less than 0.1% of the population!

What Kings Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for King

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Most Popular Names

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.